If you’re not running the right tire, you’re undercutting your machine’s potential. Sometimes the best-looking tire—you know, the one with treads like a chainsaw on steroids that makes your hackles stand up—isn’t the best for your riding style. It can even make your vehicle harder to drive.
Choosing the right tire can make a world of difference in your ride’s overall feel and performance. If you think your ride sucks, it might just be the tires. But how do you know which one is right for you? Let us break it down and explain what’s what when it comes to off-road tire size, tread, and pressure.
You really need to pick a tire size that works for your machine, not for your ego.
You may not know what you want out of a new set of tires, but I’m guessing you know you want to go big! Why? Because bigger is better, of course!
Well, not necessarily. That might apply to beds and bank accounts, but that’s not always true when it comes to tires.
Bigger is better when you need to roll over serious obstacles and need major clearance.
Big tires (we’re talking 32″+) are popular with the mud-boggin’ crowd because they can reach the bottom of the mud hole without putting you neck-deep in the mud. That means more grip and less drag because your machine doesn’t have to plow through all that peanut butter.
They’re great for rocks, fallen trees, and other trail blips. With a big enough tire, you’ll roll right over them without much effort. Every bump feels smaller when your tire is bigger.
There are a lot of good reasons to stick with a smaller tire, not the least of which is the toll a big tire takes on your machine.
Think about it—a bigger tire means more weight and more work for your machine just to spin them. If you add too much weight, your drivetrain will take a beating. We’re talking busted axles and shredded belts. What’s the solution? A new clutch kit can help save your belts, but aftermarket axles are your only cure if your stock axles start snapping.
Plus, your stock machine can only fit up to a certain size before the tire starts rubbing. A 2018 RZR XP Turbo, for example, can fit 32″ tires on stock suspension. A 2017 Maverick X3 can fit 30″ tires, but they’ll rub a little bit in the rear. That means you’ll need to invest in a lift if you want to go any bigger.
Every pound you add to your tire is torque that you lose. Every inch that you increase your tire size costs you torque, regardless of weight change. (It’s a complicated gear-ratio-type thing.)
Getting bigger tires is a compromise. Huge 40″ tires can turn your machine into the monster you always imagined it as… if you’re willing to put in the work. Simply going big without the proper considerations could leave you with a gimped machine that’s not good for much.
If you’re just starting to think about upgrading your tire size, just go up an inch or two from stock. If you’re willing to lift, tune, and tweak your machine to perfection, then the sky’s the limit. As they say: go big or go home.
What do you want out of a tread pattern? Do you want an ultra-aggressive tread that will chew up and spit out anything you roll over? I bet you do, and while that’s the perfect tread pattern for some riders, that might not be exactly what you need.
There are tons of different tread patterns out there: mud, road, sand, all-terrain, and race, to name a few. Each of those tire types has a whole spectrum of different varieties to help you fine-tune your ride.
All-terrain tires are your best bet if you’re not focused on a single terrain type. They generally have a tight pattern of deep lugs, similar to what you might see on a big truck, but more aggressive.
A good all-terrain tire will get you through most obstacles and terrains. They especially shine on tracks, hard-packed gravel, and rocky terrain. You won’t be disappointed traversing loose earth on hillsides, either. Most racers will use a version of an all-terrain tire because they give just the right amount of grip to go fast.
A good feature to look out for on all-terrain tires is siping. These small slits (or “sipes”) in the rubber help the tires grip on super smooth surfaces like rocks, roads, and snow.
SuperATV has some nice all-terrain tires that will make you grin.
When you think of a super aggressive tread pattern, you think of mud tires. These have huge lugs that are designed to get as much purchase on the slippery goop as possible.
The key to a good mud tire (besides those big lugs) is its ability to self-clean. The lugs are angled to eject the mud as the tire spins. Less mud stuck to the tire means better grip.
The next thing you want to look for is a strong lug down the centerline of the tire. It makes the ride smooth on hard surfaces. All of SuperATV’s mud tires excel at clean-out and smooth riding.
Sand tires are highly specialized and aren’t useful anywhere besides on sand. Likewise, most other tread patterns will perform poorly on loose sand dunes. If you plan on spending the majority of your riding time in the dunes, then definitely grab a set of sand tires. Even if you’re going to split your time 50-50 between dunes and elsewhere, having a set of mounted sand tires to throw on your machine for dune day would be a good idea.
If you’re someone who rides in the dunes but also enjoys rock crawling just as much, our SlikRok Edition XT Warrior Tires may be for you. Check them out!
The choice is clear: if you’re a specialized rider, get a specialized tire. Otherwise, go for all-terrain. There is a little crossover between them—you can find aggressive mud tires that work really well for most terrains (like SuperATV’s Intimidator and Terminator tires) and you can probably find an all-terrain tire that will handle mud or sand better than others.
Generally, though, put an all-terrain tire in mud that’s too deep and you’ll get stuck. Put a super aggressive mud tire on a hard-pack surface and you’ll feel like you’re riding on ice. Put a sand tire on anything but sand and you might vibrate to death on those paddles (if you don’t crash into a tree first).
The final piece of the puzzle is tire pressure. How much is too much? How little is too little? Why would you ever want to inflate the tire to anything other than the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure?
Generally, the rule of thumb is that you want higher pressure for smooth surfaces and lower pressure for rough surfaces. But how high and how low you go depends on a number of factors, including what kind of tires you have.
The right place to start is with your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure. You can find your vehicle’s tire pressure in your owner’s manual. If you don’t have your owner’s manual handy, check the list below. Most manufacturers let you download your owner’s manual for free.
Lower pressure means more grip no matter what you’re doing. It also means you’ll have a smoother ride and your tires will absorb bigger impacts without having chunks torn out of the tread. When traction’s an issue, dropping the pressure will usually help, but there are some issues to watch out for.
No two tire types are the same—each one will react differently to various tire pressures. A super-aggressive mud tire with massive tractor-style lugs might not change its shape at all when tire pressure is dropped. Therefore, it will yield no advantage.
A low-tread all-terrain tire might deform a lot, in which case you would need to lower pressure more cautiously. Dropping 5 psi from the recommended pressure might provide you with a lot more traction, but it might also be unsafe to ride on with normal, non-beadlock wheels.
The point is, you need to do some experimenting to see what pressure works for you and your setup.
If you want to run a very low-pressure tire (less than 10 psi) because you need that traction for rock crawling or running on dunes, you’ll want to make sure you run beadlock wheels. Your tire requires a certain amount of air pressure to stay stuck on to the rim, and the lower you drop that pressure, the more likely your tire is to jump off the rim. You don’t want that.
Beadlocks literally bolt your tire to the rim so your tire will maintain pressure even in wild, off-camber situations. It won’t guarantee that you won’t lose pressure, but it’s a requirement for any low-pressure action. They’re a good idea any time you run anything lower than the manufacturer recommended tire pressure, too.
Running higher pressure—AKA your manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure—is easy to understand and easy to accomplish. You don’t need special rims because a higher pressure means it will stick to your stock rims better.
Racers tend to run the recommended pressure because too much traction will slow them down, and the surfaces they race on are usually smoother. Running the recommended tire pressure keeps the tires firmly attached to the wheel. The bead won’t slip even with some heavy hits at high speeds.
Likewise, if you’re running all-terrain tires, you want to use the recommended pressure. You’ll get better gas mileage and a more secure tire at high speeds. Some will run higher pressure en route to the trail, then drop pressure once they get there and reinflate on the way home.
Every tire is different and every setup is different. By now you should have a pretty good idea of how you can get what you want. And chances are, a tire that a lot of people like (like this all-terrain tire) will be great for you.
If you’re looking for something that’s highly specialized for your needs, you’ll need to read reviews and descriptions. Or maybe give us a call so we can help answer any specific tire questions.
Apply the information here and you’ll be on your way to a perfect ride—tweaked and tuned just for you.
Is there a MPH Offset/ corrected MPH for a Honda Talon 1000 X and 35″ tires? I am using 1.25 just want to make sure that is correct. Is there a way to correct the OEM MPH indication?
Love the 35″ Warriors they are fantastic in the mud, sand, packed trails and on rocks. Best of all worlds.
Hey George! Thanks for the feedback on the Warrior tires, we’re glad you like them! As far as your question goes, unfortunately, we do not currently have any way of calibrating a speedometer. There’s formulas that can typically be found online to figure it all out, but each machine will be a little different. Apologies for not having a better answer in this case.
This varies greatly depending on the tire size. Please read the “how to use” part on the slime bottle carefully, as it should contain the appropriate quantity for most UTV tire sizes.
Thanks for your information, as you said, different tires will have different setup and fit for each type of vehicle.
Thanks for the support!
I had no idea that your UTV can have a better grip by having lower tire pressure. I have always wanted a UTV but I don’t know how to properly take care of it. If I get only I’ll be sure to power the tire pressure is it always has a good grip on the different terrains.
Hey Franklin, thanks for reading! UTV’s are a blast. Our customer service team is always here if you have any questions. And be sure to check back here for articles, as we try to cover nearly every possible topic you can think of, including regular maintenance!
My brother owns an ATV which he loves and is thinking about upgrading. I totally agree with you when you said that you need to pick the right size for your ATV so that it can perform at its fullest. I will recommend him to look for parts online so that he can have a nice off-road vehicle.
Hey Derek, we appreciate the support! We’ll be glad to help with any questions along the way. Just tell your brother to visit us online or give us a call at 855-743-3427.
Can you fit 33s on a stock 2020 Polaris Rzr 1000 High Lifter without any lift, portals, etc?
Thanks for reading! We have been able to clear 31’s on a stock machine, but not 33’s. Feel free to give us a call at 855-743-3427 with any other questions you may have!
They will fit with a little extra preload or a tender spring upgrade. I currently run 32″ ITP Mammoth Mayhems that measure out to be 32.75″ with no problems on my RZR HL.
I run 33 inch STI tires on my 4 door highlifter with 3.5 +3.5 offset wheels and a tender spring swap and have no rubbing issues at all.
Did you have to do a clutch kit running those 33s? How much do they weigh
Will 28 inch itp Mega Mayhem tires fit on a stock 2016 yamaha wolverine rspec? If so do ya think it would need clutch work or rob alot of power? Other thoughts welcome,thanks.
hey i am running 29/9/14bighorn 2.0 s on a2019Wolverine no pro no rubbing and no noticeable loss of power recommend this up grade also gives lots more ground clearance
we have a 2019 polaris ranger high lifter xp 1000. It comes from the factory with 28×9.5×14 on front and 28x11x14 on the back. We are wanting to put 30x10x14 all terrain all the way around but not sure if they will rub.
Hey Victoria! You can probably get the 30s on the machine with no issues, but fully compressed in a turn, they will probably rub some. However, if you went with our 3″ lift kit (https://www.superatv.com/polaris-ranger-fullsize-1000-3-inch-lift-kit) or 2″ forward offset A-arms (https://www.superatv.com/polaris-ranger-xp-1000-2-inch-forward-offset-a-arms), you would clear them with no issues. Thanks for the support!
Any sites or recommendations from anyone who has experience with tires/ rims? For a 2018 yamaha YXZ
I’m looking to go 30″x 15″x 9″ front and the same for the rear, is that recommended. I basically use it for rocky hills, mud, rivers and almost anything.
I have a 2020 RZR 1000 S , with stock 27x12x10 rear and 27x12x9 front tires, will the 28x14x10 Warrior A/T tires be compatible ? Also what is the weight of the tire and how will my stock axles handle the size difference ?
Hey Ron, thanks for reading! Yes, the tires are compatible. These AT Warrior Tires are 37 pounds each, so there’s not much of a weight difference, meaning it shouldn’t cause any issues with axles.
Can I run a 37 on a 2020 velocity polaris turbo 1000 without a lift?
Hey Kevin, thanks for reaching out! You wouldn’t be able to in the front, but you should be able to clear the rear. Feel free to give us a call at 855-743-3427 for any other questions. Thanks for the support!
What would the tallest rim/tire setup could I run on my factory 2019 ranger 900xp crew? Looking for clearance without causing mechanical damage. Currently running factory rims and tires. Mainly used for trails and hunting in Colorado and Wyoming. Would I also be able to use factory rims with a taller tire to gain clearance?
Hey Anthony, thanks for reaching out! If everything else on the machine is stock, going bigger will cause some rubbing when turning and compressed. However, by adding forward offset A-arms, you could jump up to a 28″. I hope this helps. Thank you for the support!
With super atvs 6 inch lift n 4 inch portals on a wildcat 1000x ,would 40s rub..I run 32 intimadators now with lots of room..
Hey Richard, thanks for reading! The highest we can recommend without rubbing is 36s. We appreciate the support!
Did satv quite making rhino axles for the wildcat big lift super atvs 6 inch lift kit? I would like to purchase a back up axle..
Hey Richard, unfortunately, we no longer offer axles for this lift. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, and appreciate you checking in. We currently only offer stock length axles for this machine.
I have a 2020 RZR 1000 S with the factory wheels and tires I see that 28 inch tires work with no problems. I would like to go to a 30 inch tire on a 14 inch wheel that has 0 offset. Have not found any one that has done this on a S, Have seen it many times on a XP. Let me know if this will work with no issues.
Thanks for checking in, Gary! If you’re after 30″ tires without offsetting the arms, it is possible but in a full turn and compressed, the tires will rub.
Thanks for responding, So if I use offset A arms 30 inch tires should not rub. I thought maybe a 0 offset wheel might help as long as it don’t cause a bump steer situation. Really don’t want to go with a lift kit, the 1000 S rides so good I hate to do any thing to change suspension geometry. Offset A arms should not effect ride or drive ability. Hope I’m right in thinking this.
That’s what we’re here for! With the 0″ offset, you will be exactly the same as stock, except for the A-arms being high clearance for added ground clearance. With the 1.5″ offset, you can actually run up to 32″ tires without rubbing. If you are not interested in running a lift but also want a bigger tire, this is the best way to go. Thank you for the support!
I have an rzr800 and put a more aggressive tire on and the back end seems a lot looser now.
Any suggestions on what that mat be.
Hey Tim, thanks for reaching out! It will really depend on a couple of things. How aggressive of a tire is it? What kind of riding conditions are you riding in? They could be over or under inflated from where they should be. There are several different variables that would have to be considered. If you’d like to give us a call so that we can better help troubleshoot, reach out to us at 855-743-3427.
I currently have the stock 29″ Bighorn tires on my Razor XP 4 1000. I want to upgrade to 32″ tires but don’t want rubbing or belt issues. Is this ok or is 30″ a much better choice?
Hey Joel! It primarily depends on the brand or type/weight of the tire and what type of riding you do the most of, along with what you’re expecting out of the machine. You will definitely have to get some forward offset A-arms or some type of lift to clear them in the front. Check out this link to see our A-arm and lift kit offerings. https://www.superatv.com/shop/polaris/rzr/rzrxp41000#/filter:product_category:A-Arms/filter:product_category:Lift$2520Kits Feel free to reach out to us at 855-743-3427 with any questions about your order. We appreciate the support!
Looking to add 30” tires to my 2021 xp4 turbo. The tires are the system 3 370s which are a bit heavier than stock. Is a clutch kit necessary?
Hey Jim! It’s really a personal preference and depends on what you’re expecting from your machine. You could leave the stock clutch and be fine. Do you mostly ride in the mud or are you trying to go fast? There are a couple different things to take into consideration here. If you need some more help, give us a call at 855-743-3427 and we’d love to help you out. Thanks for reaching out!
I have a 2021 Ranger XP 1000 Northstar Premium with 27×9-14 front tires and 27×11-14 rear tires. Can I install 4 30x10x14 front and rear on the factory rims? What would you suggest?
Hey Jim! You shouldn’t have any issues mounting them on factory rims, but you will want to install either a small lift kit or forward offset A-arms to keep from rubbing when you turn. https://www.superatv.com/shop/polaris/ranger-full-size/ranger-xp-1000#/filter:product_category:Lift$2520Kits/filter:product_category:A-Arms Thanks for checking in with us!
Thanks for sharing Mud tires with us
Hello wanting to run 30 x 14 in light and traditionally short Maxxis Zilla tires on my 2015 Honda Pioneer 700-4. Recomendations if possible e not interested in portals. Thanks
Hey Jim! Unfortunately, we do not currently have anything for your machine to reach 30s without rubbing. I will pass this info on to our development team as feedback. Thank you for reaching out!
Hi. I have a 2021 Wildcat XX and am considering putting either 32″ Carnivores or Mongrels on it. Do you think I’ll run into any issues going to 32’s or should I only go up to 31’s?
Thanks in advance
Hey Nate! More often than not, it will depend on your riding style, what you’re expecting from the machine, and the weight of the tires. Unfortunately, since those aren’t tires that we manufacture, we won’t have weights of those specifically. However, if you’re not an extremely aggressive driver, you’ll typically not run into issues just from increasing your tire size by that amount with that machine. Thanks for checking in!
Very informative article. My question is why do lot of short course racers run narrower tires up front? Thanks in advance.
Hey Jaz! Typically, the reason why racers go with narrower tires in the front is to save weight and gain better turning. Thanks for reading!
Will 33” tires fit on a Can am XDS (64”) with 5+2 offset wheels?
Hey Marcus, thanks for tuning in with us. It would depend on what XDS you’ve got, but if it’s the Can-Am X3 XDS, 33″ tires should fit with minimal rubbing, but would probably rub some at full turn and compressed.
Hi, great article. I recently purchased some Carlisle Versa Trail ATR tires form my ATV. I know they are probably more for heavier UTVs but I do some all around trail riding and wanted a less aggressive tread pattern and I wanted to stick with 6ply radials. Anyhow, I have a Polaris 700 EFI and I have it loaded down pretty good. Probably 1100 lbs with me, upgrades and my gear on it. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to use the MFG recommended PSI any longer which is 5lbs. These tires have a max of 32psi for the front (26x9r12) and 34 for the back (26x11r12) but I obviously don’t want to use the max rating which is not necessary at my weight. Any ides how low a pressure a tire like this can handle with my load without coming off the rim?
Hey Geoff, unfortunately, these aren’t tires we make, so it’s hard to give solid advice. I’d say it’s really going to depend on the terrain you ride in most often. My best suggestion would be to reach out to the tire manufacturer directly. Thanks for tuning in with us!
If you want to ride on the highest ground possible, definitely go for the big size! Bigger is better and what really matters here are those little details like handling your terrain well enough for stunts at speed without being unstable or “stuck in one spot.” And who doesn’t love some good old fashioned wheeling action.
And Yes you are absolutely right Tyler to say never pick the tires for your ego …. but that’s a hard job to do or at least in my case.
Hey, thanks for the insight Ralph! And oh yeah, we know the struggle with tire size. The temptation is strong!
my tires call for 36 psi to seat bead. they are the same size tire that came on my sportsman highlifter.. what air presure should i run? thanks. im new at this. use these tires on hard surface around ranch.
Hey Troy! The tire should list recommended PSI on the side wall. Thanks for checking in with us!
What would be the tallest rim/tire setup I could run on my factory for 900 trail, fox edition ? Looking for clearance without causing mechanical damage, and a lot of power loss. I have thought about 28x10x14 all the way around. Currently I’m running factory rims and tires. Mainly used for trails in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Hey Gale! Unfortunately, going any more than an inch over stock will likely give you a little rub.
I currently have a 2013 Polaris Ranger 800 crew and I’m running 28″ tires on 14″ wheels. I would like to bump the tire size to 29″. I have change practically every single part in this machine. Heavy duty ball joints, axles, forward a arms, shocks, has lift kit and recently change the clutch to a duraclutch. What would be your recommendation. Most of our riding here in Arizona is hard/lose dirt and rocky roads.